Each year in May, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) celebrates Better Hearing and Speech Month, a month dedicated to increasing awareness around issues concerning hearing and speech.
What does “better” mean when it comes to hearing?
For those who don’t have hearing issues, hearing happens passively. We hear whether we want to or not. But if you have hearing loss, hearing becomes an activity that requires participation, energy, concentration and focus.
We expect a lot from our feet. They get us to all the places we need to go, while providing the anchor and balance crucial to physical activity. Our ability to stay active often depends on keeping our feet healthy.
As we age, foot problems can become common. From aches and pain to bunions and corns, our feet are prone to many conditions that can cause discomfort and impact mobility. This shouldn’t be surprising when you consider that the distance people walk in a lifetime would take them around the globe nearly six times. Yet, our feet are often neglected and foot pain is frequently written off as an insignificant risk to health.
Nursing students begin their careers with the understanding that caring for ill and frail people will include having a large population of seniors as their patients. And while caring for them in times of greatest need is vitally important, they often never have the opportunity to get to know patients as people and relate to their more specific medical needs associated with aging.
What is good health? I think it’s safe to say that the answer to that question is not the same for everyone. To some it may mean the absence of disease. For others it may be effectively managing a chronic condition. But for many of us, good health involves a combination of physical, psychosocial and emotional well-being and the interplay between all three.
Vision loss is a common concern for my patients as they get older, and something that I discuss often with the residents I see at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston. One of the most common causes of vision loss for those over age 60 is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It accounts for 90 percent of new cases of legal blindness in the U.S. Here’s what you need to know to recognize, prevent, and treat AMD.
Hebrew SeniorLife’s Harvard Medical School-affiliated Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) is celebrating 50 years of research focused on finding ways to optimize quality of life for all of us as we age. For half a century our researchers have explored age-related syndromes, debunking the myth that growing old has to mean growing frail.
Did you know that falls are NOT a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented? Hebrew SeniorLife works throughout Massachusetts and in our own senior living communities to educate seniors about this fact through our evidenced-based programs department. Our work supporting evidence-based programs helps empower older adults to become more active partners in managing their own health care.
“Aging in Place” is an often-used phrase in senior services. Many senior product and service companies have designed their offerings around this concept. At Hebrew SeniorLife, we have adopted a somewhat different philosophy – “seniors living their best life in the right place at the right time”—that we consider to be a step beyond aging in place.
Although we only get one month in the calendar year to highlight the importance of better hearing, I can assure you that your sense of hearing is important every single day of your life!
Without good hearing, we are often not connected to the sounds around us, whether it’s hearing our loved ones, hearing our doctors and nurses as they care for us in a stressful time, or hearing the sounds of springtime as it returns after a very long winter.
Are people in your world suggesting you might have hearing problems? Do you often feel left out of a group conversation? Is going to a restaurant or social event stressful for you because you just can’t follow the conversation easily?
“Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender older people who fought the first battles for equality now face so much fear of discrimination, bullying and abuse that many are hiding their lives to survive. Thousands are dying earlier than their straight counterparts because they are isolated and afraid to ask for help.” This quote was excerpted from the movie Gen Silent, a film by Stu Maddox.